July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month (NCCAPM)

Cleft lip and palate, a congenital condition that happens in the first three months of pregnancy affects the upper lip and the hard and soft palate of the mouth. It is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world. 

We were reflecting here in the office about our patients in developing countries. Some of them may not necessarily have a lot of confidence in their self-image. We reached out to two lovely young ladies who regularly tweet about their cleft lip and palate journey and asked: What inspires you? Where do you draw confidence from? Any advice for those struggling with self-image?
The questions about inspiration and confidence & self image is something I get a lot. My inspirations would be parents of cleft kids and younger kids who are going through the extensive surgeries I once had. I think that a lot of the less fortunate children and even adults that don’t have the opportunity to have surgery or after care, inspire me so much because of the hope that they have to keep. They are hopeful one day they might receive help and that’s what inspires me to keep raising awareness and keep fighting for what’s right. Parents here in the United States also inspire me because, they just go through so much with their child. My mom raised me on her own, I think that’s why parents of cleft kids inspire me too. The whole cleft community inspires me & what I do.
…My advice for anyone struggling with self image issues would be: take a long look in the mirror and then walk away from it. What matters is inner beauty, not the outside. What really matters is what you feel inside, you have to work on that before you deal with the outside image.  
…Another helpful thing that works for me is just surrounding myself with people who love me for me.
What inspires me is my family and my favourite singers like Austin Mahone. Music helps me relate to things I’ve been through. I draw my confidence from just accepting who I am…I was born this way and God wouldn’t have put this on me if I couldn’t deal with this!  Some advice I would give to others would be just stay positive and know that they are beautiful/handsome and it’s okay to be born with a cleft. So many people have one and you’re not alone. 

Recently, Mackenzie reached out to us with a video she created to raise awareness about her personal journey with cleft lip and palate. 

Please note: these are personal views and opinions of Mackenzie.
Thank you for sharing your personal journey with us! 

Help us spread the word about National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month!